Since my wild garden kale recently shot up and flowered, and I needed to plant peppers in the same spot, I pulled out all the plants today (except one to collect seeds from). First I harvested the remaining leaves, some of which will be steamed and frozen. The rest I turned into kale chips.
Here are the steps for making kale chips (adapted from a recipe in A Nation of Farmers by Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton; recipe by Lynn Jones).
1) Wash your kale, shake it dry, and cut out the thick stems. Chop the rest into chip-sized pieces (one to three inches across).
2) Toss it in a bowl with a little oil, possibly vinegar or soy sauce, and whatever seasonings you want (garlic, salt, herbs, spices, etc.) A little goes a long way; you don’t want your kale soaking in oil or very salty.
3) Spread your kale pieces on a cookie sheet, not overlapping much if at all, and bake in a preheated 250° F. oven. The recipe I used said 20 minutes; mine were done in 10. It will depend on the thickness of the kale, so watch carefully to avoid burning.
4) Use a thin-bladed spatula to remove them from the sheet. Put them in a bowl and enjoy! They are delicate, so you won’t be scooping up salsa, and dry, so I advise having something to drink. Makes a great healthy snack.
After the third tray of kale chips it occurred to me that other greens would work too, and since my garden has several productive mustard plants (does anyone else find that when you sow a mesclun mix a few years old what results is almost entirely mustard?) I decided to try that. Mustard chips are also tasty, with a little bit more bite than kale.
The demo garden is also burgeoning with mustard, and yesterday burgeoned with gardeners visiting for our Grow It Eat It event, which was a big success on a gorgeous day. Thanks to all who came!